Dancer & Choreographer
Dancer and choreographer, Faustin Linyekula lives and works in Kisangani, North-East of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
After studying literature and drama in Kisangani, he moved to Nairobi in 1993 and in 1997 set up with Opiyo Okach and Afrah Tenambergen the Gàara company, Kenya’s first contemporary dance company. Back in Congo in June 2001, he created in Kinshasa the Studios Kabako, a space dedicated to dance and visual theatre, providing training programmes, as well as supporting research and creation: the Studios Kabako. In 2007, the Studios Kabako moved to Kisangani and opened up to new artistic fields: music, film and video. Memory, forgetting, and the suppression of memory – in his works, Faustin addresses the legacy of decades of war, terror, fear and the collapse of the economy for himself, his family and his friends. Faustin has created 15 pieces with the Studios Kabako that have toured worldwide in Europe, Africa and North-America.
Other collaborations include a duet with Raimund Hoghe (Sans-titre, 2009) and a 24 dancers’ piece for the Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy, La Création du monde 1923-2012. Faustin teaches in Africa, Europe (Impulstanz – Vienna, PARTS – Brussels, CNDC Angers…) and in the United States (University of Florida – Gainesville, University of Arizona – Tempe, Dartmouth College…). In 2007, he received the Principal Award of the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development. In 2014, Faustin Linyekula and the Studios Kabako were awarded the first Prize of the CurryStone Foundation for the work developed in Kisangani. Alongside indeed fostering the work of younger Congolese artists in the field of performing art, music and video, the Studios Kabako are also working with communities of the Lubunga district on the South Bank of the Congo river, namely around drinking water issue.